Commentary GH

Why Is a Show Called General Hospital Making Illness Something Shameful?

Does GH really think being sick is something to hide?

willow, gregory, and marshall seem to be ashamed of their general hospital illnesses.Willow, Gregory, and Marshall are ill.

Gregory is the latest General Hospital citizen to get a dire medical diagnosis…and decide to keep it a secret from his loved ones. We are still dealing with the consequences of Willow not telling Michael about her cancer until she was at death’s door.

GH Illness Pattern

And we suspect that Curtis’s (Donnell Turner) regret about having missed watching his daughter grow up is at least partially connected to his own father abandoning him — because Marshall (Robert Gossett) didn’t want Curtis to know he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. Add to that Britt (Kelly Thiebaud) not revealing her Huntington’s Disease and Franco’s (Roger Howarth) secret brain tumor, and we definitely see a pattern forming.

General Hospital: Private Versus Public

We understand the concept of privacy. We get that Gregory’s (Gregory Harrison) inevitable disintegration might not be any of Alexis’s (Nancy Lee Grahn) business. But what about his sons? Finn (Michael Easton) and Chase (Josh Swickard) might want to spend as much time with Gregory as possible now. Not to mention, start planning for the future while he is still in the position to contribute to making plans and decisions.

GH: In Shock

And we also get that the patient needs some time to process the life-changing news. They must come to terms with it themselves before they are mentally ready to tell others.

But that wasn’t the case with Willow (Katelyn MacMullen), for instance. She had time to deal with her condition. She had every right not to fill in random strangers or even family members like Carly (Laura Wright) and Joss (Eden McCoy). But Willow then started making arbitrary decisions that would affect her children and their father, Michael (Chad Duell). And that wasn’t exclusively her call to make.

Shame on You, General Hospital

Taken individually, each character we named had a dramatic reason for making the decisions they made. But, all together, it sure does start to seem like GH is suggesting getting sick is something to be ashamed of. And for a hospital-based show, that’s…not a great look.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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